The US economy added 943,000 jobs in July beating market estimates, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, the Department of Labor announced Friday in a statement.

The market estimate for nonfarm payrolls was an increase of 870,000, while job additions for June were revised up by 88,000 from 850,000 to 938,000, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With strong job additions, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.4% in June, also beating the market expectation of 5.7%. It stood at 5.9% in June.

The number of unemployed individuals in the US dropped by 782,000 to approximately 8.7 million in July, down from 9.5 million the previous month.

After the strong results showing recovery in the labor market, investors will await when the Federal Reserve will start unrolling its $120 billion monthly asset purchases that support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fed signaled on June 16 it could make two rate hikes in 2023 by 0.25% each. The central bank, however, has not provided any clues about changes to its asset purchase program since then.

Due to COVID-19, more than 22 million people in the world’s largest economy lost their jobs in March and April 2020.

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